Owner of new Ridgewood café wants to serve delicious foods and immerse himself in the community

Photos by Anthony Giudice

A new business owner is looking to bring a unique dining experience to Ridgewood this summer when he opens the doors to Sebastian’s Café, a combination café, deli and bakery on Metropolitan Avenue.

Santiago Marte, a Corona native, is in the process of opening Sebastian’s Café — which he named after his son — at 55-03 Metropolitan Ave. His goal is to provide residents with high-quality, fresh foods, and he also hopes to truly become a part of the Ridgewood community.

“I’ve been in the food industry ever since I was 10,” Marte said. “My dad had a grocery store in Brooklyn; also my first cousin has a couple of supermarkets, as well as my uncle. The food business is in our family.”

Marte decided to bring his love and passion for the food service industry to Ridgewood after he and his wife surveyed the area and was drawn to the location on Metropolitan Avenue because of the proximity to both Grover Cleveland High School and P.S. 290 A.C.E. Academy for Scholars at the Geraldine Ferraro Campus.

He said he and his wife noticed that parents, students and teachers of the schools did not have an easily accessible place to go to get coffee or breakfast foods, a healthy lunch, or a place to grab a quick dinner after school lets out.

In order to alleviate that problem, Marte plans on serving a multitude of foods at his café with a hot food section with American and Latin cuisine; a full deli with salads, sandwiches and wraps; fresh-cut fruit; beverages like smoothies, fruit juices, natural juices, coffee and espresso; rotisserie chickens; and an on-premises pastry chef.

Everything he serves will be reasonably priced, Marte said, to cater to the residents, students and teachers who will be frequenting his shop.

“People say that Ridgewood is up-and-coming, but they need to remember that the people that are still here, you have to maintain,” he added. “So those people you have to take care of. We’re not going to be like these new cafés you see in Williamsburg or something like that, that charges you $12 for a coffee or $5 for a pastry. We’re not going to gouge people.”

What truly distinguishes Sebastian’s Café from other delis in the area is a pair of seating areas, one inside the café, and the other is an outdoor patio section with tables and umbrellas so customers can enjoy a nice summer breeze while they eat their food or drink their coffee.

To give back to the community, Marte wants to give what leftover food he has to a local church or organization that will help feed the homeless.

“My idea is, whatever food is leftover I want to donate it to the church so that way they can give it to the homeless if they have an outreach program. I want to be a part of the community because most of these businesses don’t become part of the community. They just open their doors and eventually want everybody to buy from them. But if you don’t give them the story of your background and give an idea of what you plan to do, people just don’t want to go buy from them.”

Marte also plans to have specials for members of the Police Department, Fire Department, EMT workers, and of course, the teachers from the two schools across the street.

Once Sebastian’s Café is ready to open, Marte is aiming for a mid-July, early August date, it will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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